Houston Texans: Kaimi Fairbairn excelling after small slump
Houston Texans kicker Kaimi Fairbairn was an instrumental player in the 29-22 victory over the New York Jets in Week 15.
Kaimi Fairbairn has quietly become one of the Houston Texans’ most reliable and consistent players this season. The Texans may have finally found a permanent solution to their kicking position. Under the Bill O’Brien era as the head coach, the Texans have gone from Randy Bullock to Nick Novak until they signed Fairbairn after he went undrafted in the 2016 NFL Draft. Fairbairn has proved his worth throughout this season and yet again this week after going 5-for-5 in his field goal attempts against the New York Jets.
The Texans are currently leading the league with 39 field goals attempted and Fairbairn leads all kickers with field goals made with 34. Fairbairn is making 87.2 percent of his field goal attempts and through 14 games he has been accurate on 97.1 percent of his extra point attempts, he has made 34 out of the 35 extra point attempts.
He hasn’t missed a field goal since going 3-for-5 in Week 11 against the Washington Redskins and he hasn’t missed an extra point attempt since Week 9 when the Texans faced the Denver Broncos. Fairbairn has made 12 consecutive field goals through four games, which is a decent sample size as the Texans have struggled at times to finish their drives with a touchdown.
Fairbairn has also done a great job in driving the football into the end zone in kickoffs to prevent the opposing kick returners an opportunity to return the football for big plays. Fairbairn has had 52 of his 81 kicks be placed in the end zone for a touchback which is a respectable 64 percent of his kickoffs.
Although not all footballs are meant to be blasted on kickoffs for a touchback, Fairbairn has helped the special teams unit in situational kicks and successfully baiting returners in bringing the football out of the end zone. The Texans special teams have yet to yield a touchdown on kickoffs and are limiting opposing kick returners to an average of 19.5 return yards, which ranks second in the NFL. Fairbairn has brought stability to the Texans special teams and has put the team in position to win in close competitive games.